Gauff, Pegula and Williams nominated for 2022 WTA year-end awards
Three Americans have been rewarded for their performance on the WTA Tour in 2022 with inclusion on the ballots for three of the tour’s five season-ending awards. Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula are on the Player of the Year shortlist as individuals, and were also nominated for the Doubles Team of the Year award. In addition, Serena Williams was nominated for Comeback Player of the Year.
The WTA’s annual year-end awards recognize the top performers of each season in five categories: Player of the Year, Doubles Team of the Year, Most Improved Player of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and Comeback Player of the Year. Members of the international tennis media vote for the winners.
Gauff and Pegula landed on the Player of the Year ballot with year-end No. 1 Iga Swiatek—and odds on favorite for the honor on the back of a 2022 where she won eight titles, two Grand Slams, and posted a 37-match winning streak—as well as Wimbledon and US Open finalist Ons Jabeur, and Wimbledon winner Elena Rybakina.
At Roland Garros, Gauff became first American teenager to reach a Grand Slam singles final since Serena Williams at the 2001 US Open. She later broke into the world's Top 10 after a quarterfinal run at US Open, the youngest player to make her Top 10 debut in 16 years. Pegula's ultra-consistent 2022 season saw her win her first WTA 1000 event in Guadalajara, Mexico; finish runner-up in Madrid; and reach the quarterfinals or better at seven other tournaments, including Australian Open, Roland Garros and US Open.
As a pair, they won three titles together and were runners-up at Roland Garros. Gauff and Pegula are two of three players (Veronika Kudermetova) to end 2022 as Top 10 in both singles and doubles. After they triumphed in Toronto in August, Gauff became the second-youngest player in the history of the WTA rankings to rise to doubles No. 1, and she held that position for four weeks.
Williams graced the Comeback Player of the Year ballot with Germany’s Tatjana Maria, who won her first singles title in four years and reached the Wimbledon semifinals after the birth of her second child; Australia’s Daria Saville, a former Top 20 player who missed nearly all of 2021 after Achilles surgery but returned to the Top 50 in 2022; and Croatia’s Donna Vekic, who dropped out of the Top 100 at the start of the year after a knee injury, but bounced back to end the season in the Top 50 with a strong second half.
After a year out of the game, 23-time Grand Slam singles champion Williams returned to tennis with much fanfare in June; her comeback in singles culminated by defeating then-world No. 2 Anett Kontaveit as part of a third-round run at the US Open, her best win-by ranking in more than 18 months.
Williams has twice won the Comeback Player of the Year award previously, in 2004 and 2018. She won seven Player of the Year awards in her career, as well as the 1998 Newcomer of the Year award and the 1999 Most Improved Player award.
In addition, Pegula’s coach David Witt and Gauff's co-coaches, her father Corey Gauff and Diego Moyano, were selected on the short list for Coach of the Year for their work in helping their players achieve career-best seasons.
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